Original iPad 1 Battery Replacement

I have to admit that I was a bit underwhelmed after purchasing the original iPad about five years ago. I bought it with the intent of leaving it on the coffee table and using it as shared internet/app device for the family. But Apple did not design it with multiple user profiles, which was a major disincentive to loading my personal and work email accounts and calendars on it. Apparently Apple’s vision was for the iPad was as a single user device. Eventually the iPad was essentially taken over by my young son as a toy.

Later I found a use for it as a portable chessboard of sorts, being able to move the pieces to analyze games and variations much faster on an iPad app rather than a physical chessboard. That was around the same time my son got frustrated with not being able to install the latest and greatest apps on iOS 5 (at the time of this writing, iOS 9 is the latest). So the iPad was pretty much mine again.

Meanwhile, the battery couldn’t hold a charge anymore and needed replacement, and while the iPad was too old to justify paying Apple $99 to replace it, the iPad still had enough value to me to make a cheaper DIY battery replacement worthwhile. Continue reading


A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from my hosting provider telling me I had infected files on my site. It looked like spam, so I ignored it. Then a few days later, I got another similar looking email, but this time they said that due to my infected files, they shut down access to my site until the infected files were removed. I went to my site, and sure enough, it was shut down.

I looked at the list of 40 infected files they sent me. It looked like they were older versions of PHP files which were likely mis-tagged as infected. So I deleted them and asked my hosting provider to recheck my site. But they found more infected files elsewhere on the site. A couple of them were in a new folder that I did not create. I Googled the name of the folder and a link showed up to my site, with “adult” words. Continue reading

Un-retiring from Chess, Twenty Years Later!

I haven’t spoken much here about my past life as a tournament chess player. To sum up my prior post on the topic: I started playing in the early 1980s, rose to NM (National Master) level (a rating over 2200 – the top 1% of tournament players in the US), and then left in the early 1990s when other things in life became a priority.

I’ve never really had the game seriously call me back, but on occasion I have given it some thought. Then I remember that in my latter years of playing, I had some holes in my opening repertoire which needed plugging. With the passing of time and with increased knowledge due to computers, those holes would be major breaches, and I might be lucky to make it out of the opening alive. The thought of retooling my entire opening repertoire just to be able to sit in the tournament hall would be a major disincentive to return after a long absence. Continue reading

Upgrading Laptop from a 250GB SSD to a 500GB SSD

My work Windows 7 laptop has been running with a 250GB Samsung 840 SSD for quite some time now. It’s been running out of capacity, and I’m between projects at work, so this was the perfect time to do something about it. I’d love to ditch the laptop and get a Surface Pro 3, but that’s a little out of the budget right now. Instead, I found a 500GB Samsung 850 SSD for $199 to keep me going for a while. Continue reading

Garmin Running Watch Stolen from Checked Baggage

Normally when I take my Garmin FR220 running watch (retail $250) on flights, I simply wear it on the plane. On this last trip, I had a last minute change of heart and packed it in my rollerboard, which I normally carry on. But at that time I forgot that I had also planned to check a box of work supplies, so it made sense to check the rollerboard too.

When I arrived in my hotel in Houston on Sunday, the Garmin was not in my rollerboard. I was puzzled at first, because at home I keep the Garmin with my running armband and headlamp, and so I would have packed all three of them at the same time. Yet only the armband and headlamp made it to Houston. At the time I assumed I somehow must have forgotten to pack the Garmin, even though I thought that was implausible. When I returned home late Friday, I searched all the places the Garmin could/would have been. And then I finally realized the unthinkable: the Garmin was stolen from my checked baggage.

There was nothing inside the bag saying it was inspected by TSA, so I’m going to file a claim with United. I’ll update this post with more details after they are available.

Angels 5K 2015

The biggest challenge was setting my target pace for the race. My last 5K was in November, which I ran in 23:40, at a 7:37/mi pace. But this winter I got plantar fasciitis which sidelined me for a while. I’m been on the mend and now returning to running form. A couple of weeks ago while on a business trip I ran 5K on a flat route after work in about 26 minutes at tempo pace.

The other complication was that I caught a cold/sore throat a couple of days before the race. I’ve never raced when sick, so I was in complete unknown territory. I figured I’d start off the race at an 8:00/mi pace, and if I could pick up the pace later, than great – but if I couldn’t, then at least I’d be at a reasonable pace that I could hold.   Continue reading

Return to Running

I haven’t been running since mid-January, when I got plantar fasciitis in my foot. Based on past experience with plantar fasciitis (from walking, not running!), I knew it was best to completely stop running in order not to make it linger. In the meantime, I’ve been working on my calf stretching and using the ElliptiGo and the bicycle to stay in shape.

Finally my plantar fasciitis is under control, and I’m ready to start running again. Certainly I need to ease my way back into it, but how? The gradual “Couch to 5K” in 8 weeks seemed like overkill for just a 6 week absence. But I found the following suggestion which seems reasonable. Continue reading